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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M tennis is sweet 16 bound

Following an exciting weekend of post-season tennis, both the Texas A&M men’s and women’s tennis teams will move on in the NCAA tournament to the round of 16 in Waco.

With the men clinching their spot on Saturday and the women on Sunday, the Aggie faithful at the Mitchell Tennis Center got their money’s worth of tennis this weekend.

The A&M women’s team clinched their spot in Waco Sunday when they defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 4-0 at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The win was a measure of the improvement of the team, which suffered a 4-2 loss to TCU earlier in the season.

After securing the doubles point quickly, A&M looked to the bottom of its lineup to secure the postseason win.

Stefania Hristov, Eva Paalma and Ines Deheza all defeated their opponents in straight sets from courts six, five and four respectively.

A&M will advance to play the winner of No. 7 seed UCLA and Northwestern at 9 a.m. Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco.

After defeating Eastern Kentucky 4-0 on Friday, the No. 5 men’s team was matched up against Oklahoma State. The match Saturday began unlike many of the Aggies’ regular-season matches, with A&M failing to gain the doubles point. Only five other times during the season did the Aggies enter singles play with a disadvantage.

With the No. 10 pair of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant and the freshman duo of AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknech falling to their opponents on courts one and three respectively, the Aggies began singles down 0-1.

The doubles loss set a fire under the Aggies as they began singles play by securing first-set wins on four of the six courts. It was No. 78 Harrison Adams who scored the equalizer for the Aggies on court four.

Next to record a point for A&M was No. 92 AJ Catanzariti on court five. The (6-3, 6-4) win for the freshman made his 37th on the year. When No. 80 Shane Vinsant defeated his court-two opponent in straight sets, the Cowboys were on the brink of elimination.

Oklahoma State refused to go down without a fight and captured a tight match on court three that consisted of a first set tiebreak that ended with a 13-11 advantage for the Cowboys. After suffering the tiebreak loss, No. 84 Arthur Rinderknech couldn’t bounce back and fell in straight sets, (7-6, 6-1).

With only two courts still in play, the Aggies needed a win from either No. 47 Jeremy Efferding on court one or freshman Jordi Arconada on court six. Head Coach Steve Denton described what he felt at the deciding point in the match.

“It looked we had momentum, but then Jordi fell behind 5-4 after being up 4-2 in the third set and Jeremy was down a break on one,” said Denton. “Jordi had match point against him and Jeremy was not making the shots that we all know he can make. After Jordi and Jeremy made a couple shots to get back on the right side of things. Even with the law of averages saying we were going to get one of the two points, as a coach I was not 100 percent sure the match was over until I saw the final score on the board.”

It ended up being the freshman who clinched the match for the Aggies from court six. Arconada took five of the final nine points in the third set tiebreak to send A&M to the round of the 16 for the 13th time in program history.

A&M will face Ohio State at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco. The match will be a rematch of the Jan. 31 match in College Station where the Aggies upset the then-No. 5 Buckeyes, 4-3.

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